With the rise of the Pink Tide during the last decade and due to the current unrest in a post-Hugo Chavez Venezuela, the question of populism has become ever more prominent for Latin American academics. On March 7th, CLACS invited nine guest scholars to share their recent research surrounding the issue of populism in Latin America. Coming from diverse academic background, these experts delved into a wide range of issues, ranging from “popular” politics to popular music. The goal was to produce an engaging medium for academic discourse on current Latin American issues and certainly by the end of the day many attendees felt that their understanding of current Latin American issues had expanded.
The morning presentations did not hesitate to jump straight into the substance of Latin American populism by discussing popular politics, parties and leaders. This series of lectures helped viewers get a better understanding of who and what is the popular in Latin America. A memorable quote from Raul Madrid of UT Austin was that “leaders shape the popular by bringing out and aligning grievances among the majority.”